Dead: Ramnarine EtwaruAs Police intensify their investigation into the execution of Ramnarine Etwaru, whose body was found on a dam in East Canje, Berbice, with a single gunshot wound, two men have been arrested.The two men – a 38-year-old and a 46-year-old – were arrested late Tuesday evening by detectives. The men are from the same village as the deceased.Guyana Times understands that one of the two suspects and the now dead man had been at loggerheads over the ownership of a plot of land in the village.The body of Etwaru, 38, also called “Bill”, of Lot 84 Gangaram Settlement, East Canje, Berbice, was found on a dam about 400 metres into the cane field at Speculation.It is believed that the livestock farmer went to the area to tend to his animals. The body was discovered by a fisherman who reported to residents at Gangaram that the man had an accident and was lying on the dam next to his motorcycle.It was later discovered that he was shot several times, including once to his head.Detectives have since recovered four .38mm spent shells and one live round of ammunition at the scene.The dead man’s sister-in-law told Guyana Times that Etwaru recently developed a portion of land which was gifted to him.According to the woman, other livestock owners in the village were banned from going onto the land since Etwaru developed it. Meanwhile, the fact that Etwaru’s motorcycle was found in an upright position next to where the body lay leaves some to believe that he might have been lured off of the bike before being shot.Etwaru leaves to mourn his wife and an 11-year-old son. Police are continuing their investigations and are hoping to get a confession from the suspects as soon as possible.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) The Liberia Football Coaches Association, LIFOCA, will begin a two-week Level 1 Course to nearly 40 coaches drawn from clubs and communities in and around Monrovia at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium, beginning at 9a.m, today.According to CAF Coach Instructor Francis Tamba, the course will benefit participants who will pursue career in soccer coaching. “They are being prepared for CAF Coaching License D,” he said.The course’s coordinator is Mr. Barron Karr, secretary general of the Liberia Football Coaches Association, LIFOCA. Lecturers will include Emmanuel Baffoe, Gbobor T. Gbliwon and M. Kennedy Musue, who are also being groomed for CAF License B certificates, Tamba said.Also to serve as lectures will be CAF Coaching Instructors Francis Tamba and Henry Brown, who is also technical director of the Liberia Football Association, and subjects will include practical and theory of the game.“There will be intensive examination on the rules and responsibilities of coaches; coaching philosophy; how to impart coaching knowledge to players; mini-soccer, along with key techniques, among others,” Tamba told the Daily Observer yesterday.
The West African Health Organization (WAHO), the specialized health agency of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, has begun the convening of a six-day meeting of the 15th Ordinary Meeting of the Assembly of ECOWAS Health Ministers in Monrovia.The meeting began yesterday at a local hotel in Monrovia while the ECOWAS Health Ministers will meet on April 11-12 to discuss health issues in the region.The theme for this year’s 15th Ordinary Meeting of ECOWAS Health Ministers is: Universal Health Coverage: issues, Challenges and Opportunities.According to the Chairman of the National Organizing Committee (NOC), Mr. Momolu V.O. Sirleaf, who is also the Liaison Officer of WAHO in Liberia, the meeting will bring together delegates from the fifteen ECOWAS countries, the directorate of the West African Health Organization (WAHO), partners as well as the Ministers.Mr. Sirleaf said the Official Opening ceremony would be held on Friday, April 11 at 9:00 a.m. at the Monrovia City Hall. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf will deliver the keynote address at the opening ceremony.At the same, delegates have already arrived in the country for this 15th Ordinary meeting. The following meetings will precede the ECOWAS Health Ministers’ meeting. The Liaison Officers meeting would take place on Monday, April 7; the ECOWAS Health Experts’ meeting will take place on April 8 and 9 while the WAHO’s Partners Forum will take place on Thursday, April 10.The meeting of the ECOWAS Health Ministers will then take place on Friday and Saturday, April 11 and 12th.At the same time, the Chairman of the NOC has thanked the Government of Liberia for its financial support to the holding of the conference. Mr. Sirleaf has also thanked the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale for his leadership in directing the National Organizing Committee.Mr. Sirleaf, who is also the Director of External Aid Coordination at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, pointed out that dignitaries including the Diplomatic Corps, the Judiciary, the National legislature, cabinet members, heads of national commissions, the UN family in Liberia, former health Ministers have been invited to attend the opening ceremony.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The chief executive officer and president of Morweh Energy Group in Liberia, Mr. Christopher Zeohn Neyor, has launched the Shakie Kamara Memorial Scholarship Fund with LD$1 million as initial startup in West Point.The scholarship begins from ABC through 12 grades and will operate on consciousness and the sphere of larger society.Little Shakie Kamara, now known as the “West Point shooting victim,” died as a result of the severe injury he sustained during the August 20th, 2014 riot that broke out between the joined-Security Forces of the government of Liberia and residents of West Point, which was Ebola-quarantined.The 16-year old Shakie was shot in his legs by one of the bullets while trying to escape. Mr. Neyor, who spoke last Tuesday during the establishment of the Scholarship Fund in West Point, told the audience that: “West Point has been hit hardest in this ravaging war against the deadly Ebola epidemic. A casualty of the West Point Ebola Quarantine was the untimely death of a teenager, Shakie Kamara, who was not even yet of voting age. This was a young man who had gone on an errand like most children of his age and was caught in a shootout.”Neyor, who is an energy expert said: “We have come to identify with West Point in the fight against the Ebola virus that is taking a toll on our land. We have come to stand by West Point during this moment of pain and reflection from your quarantine nightmare. We have come to mourn with West Point for the loss of a youth who had all the possibilities of life before him. We have come to memorialize and immortalize Shakie Kamara.”In attendance were the families of Shakie Kamara and Titus Nuaha, the other teenager who received a bullet in the stomach and is fighting for his life.In his passionate speech, the Morweh Energy boss further stated, “We have also come to stand with the family of Titus Nauha, another victim of that devastating shootout, who is fighting for his life. We want to stand with the family so that this young can live.”He told the gathering, “Shakie Kamara and Titus Nauha represent the plight of our young children in slum communities and rural villages who are our future, but for whom so little is being done to prepare them for that future.”Mr. Neyor said launching the Shakie Kamara Memorial Scholarship Fund was a way of contributing to a new direction to rescue the children.For her part, Attorney Tupee Enid Neyor, wife of Dr. Neyor presented purse of LD$50,000.00 to the Shakie Kamara family for sustainability and also presented additional LD$20,000.00 to Titus family for urgent medical care on behalf of the Neyors.Mrs. Neyor then pledged to work with the family to get the wounded young man out of Liberia if necessary to save his life.Meanwhile, Liberia Cultural Ambassador Julie Endee, executive director of Crusaders for Peace, who is a collaborating partner with Morweh Energy, presented a check of LD$50,000.00 to assist with the medical costs for Titus Nuaha.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Report from the World Health OrganizationDuring the past weeks, a WHO team of emergency experts worked together with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and members of her government to assess the Ebola situation in Liberia.Transmission of the Ebola virus in Liberia is already intense and the number of new cases is increasing exponentially.The investigative team worked alongside staff from the Ministry of Health, local health officials, and other key partners working in the country.All agreed that the demands of the Ebola outbreak have completely outstripped the government’s and partners’ capacity to respond. Fourteen of Liberia’s 15 counties have now reported confirmed cases.Some 152 health care workers have been infected and 79 have died. When the outbreak began, Liberia had only one doctor to treat nearly 100,000 people in a total population of 4.4 million people. Every infection or death of a doctor or nurse depletes response capacity significantly.Liberia, together with the other hard-hit countries, namely Guinea and Sierra Leone, is experiencing a phenomenon never before seen in any previous Ebola outbreak. As soon as a new Ebola treatment facility is opened, it immediately fills to overflowing with patients, pointing to a large but previously invisible caseload.Of all Ebola-affected countries, Liberia has the highest cumulative number of reported cases and deaths, amounting, on 8 September, to nearly two thousand cases and more than one thousand deaths. The case-fatality rate, at 58%, is also among the highest.Situation in Montserrado countyThe WHO investigation concentrated on Montserrado county, which includes Liberia’s capital, Monrovia. The county is home to more than one million people. The teeming West Point slum, which has no sanitation, little running water, and virtually no electrical supplies, is also located in Monrovia, and is adjacent to the city’s major market district.In Montserrado county, the team estimated that 1000 beds are urgently needed for the treatment of currently infected Ebola patients. At present only 240 beds are available, with an additional 260 beds either planned or in the process of being put in place. These estimates mean that only half of the urgent and immediate capacity needs could be met within the next few weeks and months.The number of new cases is moving far faster than the capacity to manage them in Ebola-specific treatment centres.For example, an Ebola treatment facility, hastily improvised by WHO for the Ministry of Health, was recently set up to manage 30 patients but had more than 70 patients as soon as it opened.WHO estimates that 200 to 250 medical staff are needed to safely manage an Ebola treatment facility with 70 beds.The investigation team viewed conditions in general-purpose health facilities as well as Ebola-specific transit and treatment facilities.The John F Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia, which was largely destroyed during Liberia’s civil war, remains the country’s only academic referral hospital. The hospital is plagued by electrical fires and floods, and several medical staff were infected there and died, depleting the hospital’s limited workforce further.The fact that early symptoms of Ebola virus disease mimic those of many other common infectious diseases increases the likelihood that Ebola patients will be treated in the same ward as patients suffering from other infections, putting cases and medical staff alike at very high risk of exposure.In Monrovia, taxis filled with entire families, of whom some members are thought to be infected with the Ebola virus, crisscross the city, searching for a treatment bed. There are none. As WHO staff in Liberia confirm, no free beds for Ebola treatment exist anywhere in the country.According to a WHO staff member who has been in Liberia for the past several weeks, motorbike-taxis and regular taxis are a hot source of potential Ebola virus transmission, as these vehicles are not disinfected at all, much less before new passengers are taken on board.When patients are turned away at Ebola treatment centres, they have no choice but to return to their communities and homes, where they inevitably infect others, perpetuating constantly higher flare-ups in the number of cases.Other urgent needs include finding shelters for orphans and helping recovered patients who have been rejected by their families or neighbours.Last week, WHO sent one of its most experienced emergency managers to head the WHO office in Monrovia. Coordination among key partners is rapidly improving, aiming for a better match between resources and rapidly escalating needs.Implications of the investigationThe investigation in Liberia yields three important conclusions that need to shape the Ebola response in high-transmission countries.First, conventional Ebola control interventions are not having an adequate impact in Liberia, though they appear to be working elsewhere in areas of limited transmission, most notably in Nigeria, Senegal, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.Second, far greater community engagement is the cornerstone of a more effective response. Where communities take charge, especially in rural areas, and put in place their own solutions and protective measures, Ebola transmission has slowed considerably.Third, key development partners who are supporting the response in Liberia and elsewhere need to prepare to scale up their current efforts by three- to four-fold.As WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan told agencies and officials last week in New York City and Washington, DC, development partners need to prepare for an “exponential increase” in Ebola cases in countries currently experiencing intense virus transmission.Many thousands of new cases are expected in Liberia over the coming three weeks.WHO and its Director-General will continue to advocate for more Ebola treatment beds in Liberia and elsewhere, and will hold the world accountable for responding to this dire emergency with its unprecedented dimensions of human suffering.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Health Promoters’ Network of Liberia (HPNL) has called on health workers to reconsider their decision to go on strike.The group has promised to coordinate closely with the Ministry of Health and health partners to address the growing concerns of the aggrieved health workers.The group, made up of Liberian journalists covering health issues, said it acknowledged the numerous contributions health workers are making in the country and is appealing to them to take the issue of the Ebola virus as a national health crisis.The group said in the midst of the Ebola crisis, the decision to abandon health facilities will only add to the increasing number of Ebola cases and deaths across Liberia.The group called on the leadership to once more dialogue with officials of the Ministry of the Health and Social Welfare, partners and relevant authorities to deliver on promises made to health workers especially those assigned at various Ebola treatment units.HPNL coordinator Victor Seah said only dialogue not strike action can resolve the issues of benefits and salaries of health workers.HPNL said abandoning of Ebola patients or suspected persons will lead to the spread of the virus and every measure being deployed by government with support from the international community to stop the spread of the virus will deteriorate and all efforts will be meaningless.According to the group, the strike will have negative consequences on those suffering from Ebola and would adversely affect progress made so far in the fight against the disease.The Health Promoters of Liberia wants health workers planning to go on strike to uphold their ethics in responding to their duties as always and allow their leadership to negotiate with the leadership of the Government of Liberia in addressing their concern.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The National Farmers Union Network of Liberia yesterday donated several farming products to the National Task Force on Ebola to help support government in the fight against the deadly virus.The items, donated to the General Services Agency (GSA), included 18 bags of 25Kg rice, 17 bags of potato and over 275 bottles of red oil.Speaking at the donation ceremony held at the GSA premises, the program officer of the Farmers Union Network of Liberia, Mr. John Alphanso D. Perkins, said the virus has greatly affected the country’s economy and livelihood, and has continued to take away the lives of those they consider as partners in progress.According to him, since indeed the farmers union is considered as one of the highest producers of food in the country, the union recognizes the importance of joining the fight; indicating that the donation is timely. Because of such donations from many quarters around the country, many are surviving the epidemic.He explained that the donation was the first of its kind by the Farmers Union Network of Liberia since the outbreak of the epidemic.Receiving the items from the union on behalf of the National Task Force, GSA Director General, Madam Mary T. Broh, expressed appreciation for the Union’s effort in supporting the fight against the deadly virus.She stressed the need for farmers to produce and provide more food for those she considered mostly in need as this time.She promised that the donation will be turned over to the head of the National Task Force, making sure that it is used for the intended purpose.The former Monrovia City Mayor, now Director General of the GSA, who was seen in a very joyful mood, said the name of the union is going to be locked down in the database of the National Task Force record.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Minister of Health-designate, Dr. Bernice Dahn, has hit the ground running to make peace with health workers by vowing to do all in her capacity, if confirmed by the Senate, to absorb health workers into the Government’s payroll system.This has been one of the contentious issues between the Ministry of Health and the National Health Workers’ Association of Liberia (NHWAL). Health workers, through their president, Mr. Joseph Tamba, have said that they want all of their colleagues to be included on the payroll. More than 2000 public health workers are not on the GOL payroll although some of them receive other incentives.Dr. Dahn made the commitment when she officially closed the three-day Health System Assessment and Investment Plan Consensus Meeting, which was being held at the Paynesville City Hall. The Minister-designate’s first public pronouncement, just hours after being appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was about the health workers who had threatened through their leadership to oppose her appointment. She would have to be confirmed by the Senate before performing the functions of the Health Minister-proper.Dr. Dahn, who has served as Deputy Minister for Health Services for the last eight years, requested Senator Dr. (MD) Peter S. Coleman and Representative Johnson Toe Chea to grant a team from the Ministry to convey to lawmakers the importance of putting more money into the health budget so that health workers can be included on government’s payroll.“We will do all we can to get them on the payroll. Even if it means sitting in hot offices at the Ministry just to get them on the payroll, that will be done. We are willing to make the sacrifices in order to get our health workers on the payroll,” Health Minister-designate Dahn assured everyone in the hall.As she left the stage, she received a standing ovation from the conferees, including international and local health partners.Dr. Dahn’s statement has been received in good faith by Mr. Joseph Tamba, president, NHWAL. As his personal response, he stated, “I want to thank Dr. Dahn for this initiative. I look forward to see it coming to pass.” He, however, added that the health workers’ association was waiting to see what happens.Speaking earlier, Senator Dr. Peter Coleman said discussion on the issue of extra funding to put all the health workers on payroll is now going to be easy for him and other lawmakers who advocate for them (health workers) to their fellow lawmakers.Dr. Coleman, a former Minister of Health and Social Welfare, further stated that the deadly Ebola virus disease has taught a lesson that there is a need to give health workers good pay.In his remarks, Rep. Johnson Toe Chea also reiterated the need for health workers to be adequately compensated in line with their jobs because their lives are always at risk.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The United States Ambassador to Liberia, Deborah Malac, yesterday signed a US$124,755 agreement with several community groups across the country.The Self-Help Fund will provide US$99,755 in grant money to support community development initiatives focused on income generation and skills development, while the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) will provide US$25,000 to support community-based food security projects.These funds originated from two sources—the “Ambassador’s Special Self Help Funds” and the USADF respectively.According to Amb. Malac, the USADF was established in Togo in 1964 as an experimental and modest self-help program for Africa. It is now one of the most successful assistance initiatives in Africa and covers the entire continent.The US Envoy said the USADF is a grassroots assistance program that lets Ambassadors respond quickly to small community-based development projects that promise to have immediate impact.“Self-Help Fund projects always include an important and significant contribution by the participants. In Liberia this often includes provision of labor, land and other materials,” she explained.Ambassador Malac stated that since the program began in Liberia in 2004, it has funded 157 projects for a total of over US$695,000, covering all 15 counties with over 252,000 beneficiaries.She further stated that in 2009, the USADF contributed various amounts of money from US$25,000 to US$50,000 to fund small-scale projects to promote food security.USADF is an independent federal agency established to support African-designed and African-driven grassroots solutions to economic and social problems.“This year,” said Amb. Malac, ‘’the embassy received over 100 proposals, from which 17 projects were selected. Of those projects 13 will be funded through U.S. State Department’s Economic Support Funds while four will be funded from ADF grants.”This year’s projects focus on a variety of income generation opportunities including support to those in the agricultural sector for the cultivation of cassava, rice and vegetables, said the American Ambassador. Other income generation projects include skills training in soap making, beekeeping, animal husbandry and the provision of cassava grinders and machines used for processing palm oil and kernel oil.The projects this year are located in Margibi, Bomi, Nimba, Lofa, Maryland, Montserrado, Grand Kru, Grand Cape Mount and Grand Bassa counties.“We are thrilled to established these partnerships and we hope this signing ceremony is the start of a long and meaningful relationship between the U.S. Embassy and the local communities,” Amb. Malac declared.Aaron Kollie, chief executive officer of Power TV who spoke on behalf of the grantees, thanked Ambassador Malac and the U.S. government for the bilateral agreement between the two countries. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
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